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A Londonderry businessman who played a key role in the peace process
Brendan Duddy spent more than two decades acting as an intermediary
between the IRA's Army Council and British intelligence.
His Derry home was used as a venue for secret meetings.
Here's our North-West reporter, Keiron Tourish.
This was a rare glimpse into the secret life of a two-year-old
Brendan Duddy. The official handover of his private papers to Galway
University five years ago. Documenting his work during the
Troubles. The prominent dairy businessman who had suffered a
stroke in 2010 had been helping to build the peace process since the
1970s. The father of six was the subject of a major documentary by
BBC journalist Peter Taylor. He has been reporting on Northern Ireland
for many decades. He revealed that the more than 20 years, Brendan
Duddy was a secret intermediary between individuals the British
security services and the IRA's bowling Council through Martin
McGuinness. It was claimed those contacts ultimately led to the IRA
ceasefire and Good Friday Agreement. The first thing to do was to replace
the bombings and the killings with dialogue. It seems simple but that
was the essence of everything, dialogue. And every day of peace was
a life saved. This is a simple room in a simple family house. This is
where it all happened. One man who played a similar role as an
intermediary between the IRA and the British Government says Brendan
Duddy's rule was significant. From the early days, I do remember him
saying it is inevitable, it is necessary, it is a must that the
British must talk to the IRA and the IRA must talk to the British, so I
think his biggest legacy is that his analysis was correct and his
persistency ultimately came to the place he thought it would. Many
observers believe that ultimately it is the work done away from the glare
of publicity that helps establish and maintain a peace process. The
full extent of the significant role of Brendan Duddy may never be known
publicly. Tony Blair has warned that
a hard border after Brexit But the former prime minister
has said he believes there is a consensus in British
politics to avoid that outcome. Mr Blair was addressing a group
of MEPs in County Wicklow, a meeting also attended by the EU's
chief Brexit negotiator Here's our economics and business
editor, John Campbell. Few prime ministers have devoted as
much time to Ireland as Tony Blair. His policies culminated in the
signing of the Good Friday Agreement. Now he says he is
extremely anxious to make sure Brexit doesn't imperil that
agreement. There is a really common desire whenever other issues are in
relation to Brexit to make Northern Ireland a special case and make sure
that we do everything we possibly can to protect the Good Friday
Agreement, the peace process, and to protect that strong relationship
between the Republic of Ireland and the UK going forward. Thank you very
much. Among Mr Blair's audience was the EU's Brexit negotiator, Michel
Barnier. Later, Michel Barnier headed to Monaghan, do hear the
concerns of businesses and community leaders. Yesterday, he said there
would have to be some form of customs controls after Brexit.
Nobody wants to see the return of disruptive checks like these. There
are hopes a so-called smart border, using technology in like numberplate
recognition can be put in place, but Michel Barnier says he does not have
any answers yet and is still listening to ideas. Let us work, let
us work. I need to do work. We need to find a solution, technical and
operational solutions. He added that he appreciates how serious Brexit is
for the agricultural and food industries. They stand to be worst
affected by any new tariffs. One of the food exporters he met said his
concerns appeared to have been taken on board. He certainly appeared very
open-minded. He engaged fully with all of the participants that I have
to say he was not here to offer solutions, but he was listening to
the people and he wanted us to engage with them and offer solutions
for people in Ireland and particularly in the border region.
So Michel Barnier's visit has ended without is learning much about what
Brexit will really mean for the border. But we will be hearing a lot
more from him over the next couple of years.
A man who murdered a west Belfast student and amateur boxer has been
34-year-old Turkish national Orhan Koca,
of no fixed address, admitted killing Eamon Magee Junior.
He died after being stabbed in the chest and stomach
He had been hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father,
The families of ten people shot dead by the army in west Belfast in 1971
have welcomed the setting of a date for a full inquest into the deaths.
The hearing into the Ballymurphy killings will begin in September
next year and is expected to last three months.
That is for the work that needs to be done and for families like
yourselves that have waited all these years, closure is what they
have been campaigning for and we hope that our loved ones will be
declared innocent. Sport, and the main day's racing
at the North West 200 will take place tomorrow -
but one fan favourite One team not competing tomorrow is
Honda Racing, who have withdrawn because of John McGuinness's crash.
We are joined by our expert, Steve Parrish. Steve, big problems for
them. Yes, very much so. Bearing in mind their track record here, they
have had so much success year and it is really bad. Initially, it came to
your broken his leg and it was a compound fracture of his lower leg
and he also has two broken vertebrae is, three broken ribs, and he is
banged up. Begley, the safety features you at the North West 200
have got a lot better and he will be making a full recovery. Yes, best
wishes to him. What kind of day are we expecting tomorrow? A
barnstormer. How jihad is something to prove as does Glenn Irwin, riding
the big Ducati. It just goes on. There is an enormous field of very
fast riders and conditions were good for tomorrow and I am very excited.
I probably will not sleep tonight. OK, Steve, thank you very much. You
can see it all live on the BBC sport website and on the BBC Facebook page
and also commentary on BBC Radio Ulster.
Ballymena United have scored a victory. Although the goals arrived
in the second half of the game. Only four Glenn Aven to equalise when
Bruce Marshall reacted first to volley home for close range. Kevin
Brummitt was the hero as time ticked down, the substitute scoring against
his former club. He put them into the European competition for the
first time in 28 years. Internat's relegation play-off, Carrick Rangers
preserve their top-flight status, decent eating Institute for having
one. Coming up next week...BBC
Newsline's Mark Simpson tells us the inside story of the recent
return to Mauritius, Six years after Michaela McAreavy
was murdered, her family are still seeking justice. There are things
that will stay with me for the rest of my life. So they came here, many
miles from home. They appealed to the people of Mauritius for help.
They put pressure on politicians, and they returned to the scene of
the crime. And that's on BBC One
Northern Ireland next Onto the weekend weather forecast
now, with Cecilia Daly. Hello there. It is a bit of a mixed
bag this weekend. There will be some rain at times, particularly on
Saturday, some damp weather to start with. It improves and brightens up
but then there will be more showers later on. On Sunday, Sun sank to
begin with but some scattered showers in the afternoon. Blustery
at times. It will not be a cold wind. Not much win night but wet at
times. Bring living from east to west. Low cloud and mist over the
hills and also in parts of the east coast. It is a mild night so it will
stay mild into Saturday morning, but also dull and damp to begin with.
The rain will become patchy as well. Damp weather to begin with tomorrow,
if you are heading to the North West 200, bear striking up as the day
goes on. Showers before the afternoon is finished. Let's look at
the bigger picture. Cloudy with rain across parts of Scotland and
northern England. Right across the Republic of Ireland, Wales, and
Central and southern counties of England. More cloud with showery
rain over south-west Ireland and that will also come northwards later
in the day. Or the Balmoral show, it looks damp to begin with but then
becoming drier and brighter. Showers later in the day. Writers guys, with
some dry weather for a time tomorrow before some more showers develop in
the day. Most of that wet weather will cleared through by Sunday
morning, leading some sunshine and just a few showers on Sunday
afternoon. That is it until 615 tomorrow evening. Good night.